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I Married A Car Guy: My Journey Toward Car Literacy

Hi, I'm Debbie Nol, and I married a car guy. My 14 years of working at Arie Nol Auto Center has been an incredible journey, building amazing relationships with customers and learning so much from our experienced technicians.

Now I'm launching a blog to share what I've learned about cars and some of my most memorable customer stories. Hopefully you will find my blog both helpful and entertaining!

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 16:02

My Car Won

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The 2016 Volvo XC90 won Sport Utility Vehicle of the year at the Detroit Auto Show. I don't own one and had nothing to do with the design or engineering but I'm pretty excited.

Most car people have a favorite car make or model. I'm not a car person but, as I may have mentioned in previous blogs, I love Volvos. They used to be the stodgy, safe, soccer mom car. Instantly uncool. I prefer the wagons. I believe they are ‘stealth cool.’ Not everyone sees this.  

I kind of feel redeemed. I told all of our technicians it won. They weren’t nearly as happy as I was. They all have their favorite cars and they are not the same as mine. I'm not really concerned with horsepower or performance. I love how it looks and I've read all the reviews and looked at the pictures. I do have a tendency to follow the informational car blogs because it's interesting to read what people, experts and non-experts, think about a certain vehicle.

I haven't driven one yet because I'm afraid I might not bring it back to the dealership. I might see it as a ‘permanent test drive’. I understand they get really upset if you do that and you get another ride. In a police car. I'll avoid that.

We work on a fair amount of Volvos and it's interesting to see the evolution when we have a 1992 and a 2012 sitting side-by-side. That is true of any manufacturer. Safety is the biggest difference. Passenger vehicles have evolved from the days of metal stick controls on the dashboard that caused maximum damage to the human body in an accident.

Congratulations to Volvo! And to all of the other winners in different categories also. You give car enthusiasts something to look forward to each year in The Motor City.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015 11:27

Merry Christmas

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The past several weeks have been busy as people prepare their vehicles for long holiday trips.

They've had any needed maintenance performed and potential issues addressed. This helps to alleviate some of the stress associated with a long trip by doing what you can to avoid a breakdown, is always a wise choice. It looks like the weather will be mild and continue that way through the holidays which makes travel plans easier.

The shopping is done or maybe not. In that case, you'll run into me at the store Christmas Eve. The tree is decorated and the presents are wrapped and waiting for everyone to come over or be taken to your celebratory place. The menu is planned and you realize that with all the treats available, the new year resolution should include eating less sugar than you've been consuming lately.

If you have small children, they may be worried about Santa being able to travel in his sleigh with no snow. You can tell them he has a Volvo wagon as a backup vehicle so the gifts will arrive, snow or not.

All of us look forward to spending Christmas Eve and day with our friends and family so we will be closed on both Thursday and Friday. Whatever your celebration looks like, we hope that you have a day filled with all the blessings of the season.

Merry Christmas to all of our customers.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 13:31

Cats vs. Dogs

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I’ve been the observer in many discussions about which vehicle is the best. Many people that love cars have a particular favorite, with stories and statistics to back it up. Chevy vs. Ford, BMW vs. Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen vs. Audi, Honda vs. Toyota etc.

It’s like cat lovers vs. dog lovers. For every reason you love a particular brand, breed or make, someone has a reason you should choose something else. Everyone has an opinion. Cats are snobby and unloving and dogs are man’s best friend. Or, dogs are messy and cats are meticulously clean.

Choosing a car is a very personal decision. I like speaking with people when they are in the shop having an inspection performed about a vehicle they are interested in purchasing. Most people do their homework to determine what fits their lifestyle and driving needs. Sometimes everything fits the criteria, but they drive the vehicle and they just don’t like it. Maybe they just can’t get comfortable in the seat or they don’t like the dashboard layout. Or, there is something they just don’t like about the car.

Depending on where you are in life, you may be buying something strictly for utilitarian reasons. A minivan is a good example. They are mocked all the time, but as a former 1990 Ford Aerostar minivan driver, they can’t be beat when you have three small children. If children are out of the equation, the thirst for that sports car dictates what type of vehicle you choose. Doing your homework and determining what fits your needs is key to loving your vehicle. In case you wanted my input, the answers are cats and Volvos.